Xcaret Eco Park – Nature Theme Park

Enjoy One of the Area's Most Popular Parks close to Playa del Carmen

Xcaret (pronounced ‘eesh-carette’), it is believed to be an ancient port known as the “Polé”. The Maya used this area to purify their bodies and souls before travelling to Cozumel where they worship the Goddess of Fertility – Ixchel. The remains of the Ancient Maya civilization can still be seen within Xcaret’s more than 80 hectares of land and inspired the resulting eco park. The masterminds behind Xcaret, the first eco park in the area, have cleverly combined culture, nature, history and education into this glorious, full day excursion.

What is there to do and discover at Xcaret Eco Park?

If you were to compare this eco park to a typical, North American amusement park, Disney World comes to mind, but with a twist. Unlike amusement parks that are built from scratch, Xcaret used the natural environment and archaelogical ruins as their base. Jungle, water and history dictated the activities, educational opportunities and just plain old fun found within its walls.  This is not just a ‘family park.’ Anyone who spends a day at Xcaret will feel they had fun and they learned something. These are just some of the activities you can look forward to: quiet jungle trails, an underground river, caverns, diverse wildlife, Coral Reef Aquarium teeming with colorful fish, an Orchid Greenhouse (with over 80 species of orchids), a Regional Life breeding farm, Jaguar Island, and our favorite, the Butterfly farm. Each of these areas as designed to let visitors observe or interact with regional species and tropical environments.

For those looking for something more ‘extreme,’ there is the newest park attraction – swimming with nurse sharks. Although the sharks are not aggressive, having one sit in your lap and snap as you drop fish into its mouth will surely leave a long-lasting impression. If sharks are not your idea of fun, there are snorkeling areas full of tropical fish, the turtle area where you can see various species of turtles close up, or hang out with the sting rays.

Getting away from the water and into the tropical jungle provides additional experiences that we like to think are some of our favorites. Xcaret’s Butterfly Pavilion is the largest butterfly facility in Mexico, featuring thousands of regional tropical butterflies. The Pavilion also runs an intensive breeding program for 20 endemic species. The trails and plants have been known to mesmerize any visitor, with plant names identified throughout the park so you are not left guessing.

A commitment to the environment – Xcaret Eco Park is not only a place to see sea turtles close up and learn about their nesting habits, it’s also a place that saves more than 250 baby sea turtles every year. Thanks to Marine Turtle Conservation Program in Riviera Maya, that began almost two decades ago, the park now has numerous rescued turtles peacefully living in its sea turtle area.

The fun continues into the evening with the “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular” Dance Show

With more than 300 actors on stage, the Mayan night show and dance performances is a favorite for many. Dressed in colorful Maya costumes, the dancers play the drums, walk on fire, and perform mystical rituals, designed to appeal to the ancient gods. The show is the history of the Mayan culture put to music and dance by performers who will blow your mind. Note: The night show is an additional cost to your day pass into Xcaret. Many visitors love to cruise around for a day and return another evening so they can take in the show.

How to find Xcaret Eco Park?

Xcaret Eco Park is conveniently located in the heart of Riviera Maya, between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It will literally take you 10 minutes to get there if you are staying in Playa del Carmen, 20 minutes from Akumal, and around 40 minutes from the Tulum or Cancun Hotel Zone. Xcaret Eco Park is open 365 days a year, from 8:30 am to 9:30 pm. To make things super easy for visitors, there are packages that include transportation to the park. If you opt for public transport, you will have a groovy ride on the Xcaret bus that takes visitors from the bus stops on the highway to the main entrance gates.

Not sure which Eco Park is best for you? Check out our entire list of Eco Parks in the Riviera Maya. Xplor is next door to Xcaret and can be combined into a multi-day package of fun!

LocoGringo suggests these great vacation spots:

Villa Moon Star

soliman-bay-villa-moon-star
Perched on the primary dune in the central part of Soliman Bay, this amazing four-bedroom beachfront villa is a dream vacation home for anyone who appreciates the beauty of Caribbean, privacy and...
Take Me

Nah Yaxche

soliman-bay-casa-nah-yaxche
Enjoy paradise found in this wonderful beach house with 2 bedrooms (1 king and 1 queen), 2 bathrooms, full kitchen and a large open living space. Great beach with a private shade palapa and kayaks...
Take Me

Valhalla

akumal-villa-valhalla-P8228199
Villa Valhalla is a perfect choice for large families who like to vacation together. This 6,900 sq. ft. villa has 6 master bedrooms and plenty of space inside and out for dining, pool sessions,...
Take Me

Villa Carolina

playa-del-carmen-villa-carolina
Deluxe, luxurious 5 bedroom beach front villa on beautiful Playa Paraiso between Mayan Palace and Iberostar all-inclusive resorts. You will love the chef's gourmet kitchen, infinity ocean side pool...
Take Me

Villa Lol Beh

7082090312
Bask in luxury and style in this spectacular beach front villa ideal for larger groups or families who seek casual sophistication and luxury on relaxing shores Soliman bay. Be pampered in your own 8...
Take Me

Casa Escocesa

tankah-casa-escocesa-P4230873
Enjoy this 4,000 sq.ft. 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath oceanfront villa in Paraiso Tankah, between Soliman bay and Tankah bay with amazing sea views, gourmet kitchen, 50 in. satellite TV, whole house sound...
Take Me

Yal Ku Cai Casita

akumal-condos-yal-ku-cai-casita-P4246434
Homey, private and affordable Yal Ku Cai Casita features airy living and dining areas, a full bathroom with shower, a separate bedroom, furnished with a king-size bed, and a private porch – an...
Take Me

Seven Seas

akumal-condos-seven-seas-2039
Located in a quiet gated community in South Akumal this secluded condominium complex is a true paradise for beach lovers. The airy 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condos of Seven Seas each feature lovely...
Take Me
See All Properties

Explore Your Next Trip...

I Want...

Departing from

Going to

Start Date

Return Date

Who's Going...

Give Me the Details